Five home runs, including two by Robinson Cano, were plenty of support for Hisashi Iwakuma, who struck out 10 and improved his record to 9-4.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The boos originally were aimed at Robinson Cano on Tuesday. But they eventually shifted to Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie instead.
And by the time the 29,081 fans could finish booing Guthrie as he exited the game in the third inning, the Mariners had assured themselves of a win. The only real questions that remained were: How much would they win by? And how many home runs would they hit?
The answers: Seattle rolled to an 11-2 win, while belting five homers, including four off Guthrie. It tied the Mariners’ season high for runs in a game.
Mariners @ Kansas City,
5:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
Seattle improved to 74-77 on the season.
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“Traditionally this park doesn’t play this small,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I thought the ball jumped in early batting practice today, and it carried over.”
And the booing?
Well that started in the first inning when Cano stepped to the plate with Kyle Seager already having hit his 25th homer of the season — a solo shot to right field off Guthrie to give Seattle a 1-0 lead.
Last postseason, fans in Kansas City celebrated a ridiculous comeback win over the A’s in the wild card and the subsequent run to the World Series. But they haven’t forgotten or forgiven Cano for the 2012 home-run derby.
Named as the captain of the American League team, Cano didn’t pick then-hometown All-Star selection Billy Butler to participate in the game being played at Kauffman Stadium.
“I get it,” he said. “I understand.”
So when it came Cano’s turn to hit that year, he was booed lustily. And he didn’t hit a homer the entire round. “I didn’t hit one, 0 for 10,” he said.
The boos weren’t quite as loud on Tuesday, but they were noticeable in his first at-bat. But this time, Cano crushed a 1-0 sinker over the wall in right field for a 2-0 lead.
Cano really had the fans booing in the third inning, but the jeers weren’t directed at him. With Seattle leading 3-0, thanks to a Ketel Marte leadoff triple and an error by Eric Hosmer on Seager’s ground ball, Cano stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and proceeded to put the game out of reach.
He obliterated a 2-2 sinker from Guthrie, sending it into the waterfalls in deep right-center for his second home run of the night. The three-run homer traveled 449 feet per MLB Statcast and it pushed the lead to 6-0. It was also hit No. 1,999 of Cano’s 11-year career.
“I know I had a good swing, but I didn’t know it was going to go that far,” Cano said. “For me it doesn’t matter how far it goes as long as it goes over the wall.”
Fans were not pleased with Guthrie — who was making his first start since Aug. 18 — and they let him know it.
The Mariners weren’t finished. With Ned Yost leaving Guthrie in the game for some reason, Seattle continued to pummel him.
Franklin Gutierrez missed a homer by about a foot and had to settle for a double. Seth Smith followed with a single and Jesus Montero pushed across another run with a fielder’s choice.
Brad Miller punctuated the inning moments later, turning on a first-pitch curve and putting it over the right-field wall for a two-run homer.
Miller’s 10th homer of the season gave Seattle seven runs in the inning. It ended Guthrie’s outing to a serenade of mocking cheers followed by, yes, more booing.
The seven runs in the third inning were a season high.
“We were getting pitches to hit up in the zone and the guys were not missing them, they were taking advantage of them,” McClendon said.
Seattle’s fifth homer of the game came the next inning, against reliever Miguel Almonte. With Smith on first base, Montero crushed a 97-mph fastball over the wall in dead center to push the lead to 11-0.
In six career games at Kauffman, Montero is hitting .500 (12 for 24) with three doubles, two homers and 11 RBI.
“I feel good here,” he said. “I see the ball good. It’s a good park to hit in.”
Blessed with more run support than he usually gets in three starts, Hisashi Iwakuma worked efficiently and stayed before hitters, pitching seven innings and allowing three hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts to improve to 9-4 on the season.
“Eleven runs, that’s a lot,” he said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “That helped me a lot. I was able to pitch in a good groove. I could get ahead knowing they weren’t going to swing early.”
Iwakuma never allowed a runner to reach second base after the first inning. It was the fifth time in Iwakuma’s career that he’d struck out 10 or more batters.
“He just breezed once he got that lead,” McClendon said. “He started hitting his spots, working in and out. It makes it a lot easier to pitch in those situations.”
The Royals’ first run came in the eighth inning on a fielding error by shortstop Marte after reliever Tony Zych had loaded the bases.
Kansas City tacked on another run in the ninth against reliever J.C. Ramirez on an RBI single from Alcides Escobar.